Archives for Identity Theft

Consumer Alert: New Tax Return Scams

Consumer Alert: Tax Return / Identity Theft scammers are changing tactics again.

In a previous post, I talked about how some Virginia tax refunds are being delayed because of extra precautions being taken due to identity theft.  These same criminals have targeted individuals for both federal and state returns.

Both the IRS and state tax departments are taking extra steps to verify information on tax returns to protect your identity and your refund.  Many people have heard about this through the news, but are not sure exactly what that means for them.

Criminals are taking advantage of this confusion by calling individuals, pretending to be IRS agents, and asking to verify information on their return so the return can be processed.

This January, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) announced they have received reports of roughly 896,000 phone scam contacts since October 2013 and have become aware of over 5,000 victims who have collectively paid over $26.5 million as a result of the scam. Just this year, the IRS has seen a 400 percent increase in phishing schemes.

The IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you several bills.
  • Call or email you to verify your identity by asking for personal and financial information.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone or email.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money or to verify your identity, here’s what you should do:

If you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do:

  • Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
  • Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.
  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

If you know you owe, or think you may owe tax:

  • Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
  • Contact Hampton Roads Accounting.  We can help you get your taxes filed.
    (even if you haven’t filed for years)

 

Here is a short YouTube video from the IRS that discusses this problem:

 

As always, if you have any questions about your taxes, please contact Hampton Roads Accounting.  We are here to help you.

 

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Virginia Tax Refunds May Be Delayed

Have you received a “Review of Tax Return” letter from the Virginia Department of Taxation?

The Virginia Department of Taxation is sending “Review of Tax Return” letters (AUIN073A RAP Additional Review) to some taxpayers to verify withholding information. Because of the increase in identity theft and refund fraud, Virginia is taking extra precautions this year to validate the refund returns it processes.

Processing of tax returns could take longer as Virginia works to protect taxpayer information and ensure that taxpayers receive the state income tax refunds to which they are entitled.

You might be concerned if you receive a Review of Tax Return letter. Receiving the letter does not mean you are a victim of identity theft or that your return contain errors or missing data.  It just means that your return was stopped for review.

If you receive this letter, you should read it carefully to determine what action you might need to take.

Please note the following:

If you DID NOT submit an individual income tax return, you should check where indicated in the first paragraph of the letter and return it using the fax number or address provided.

If you DID file a return, you should follow the instructions in the letter and submit all requested documents as soon as possible by fax or mail.  Virginia will continue processing returns once it receives all requested documents and confirms that the returns are correct.  Once you send in the requested documents, please allow 7 business days for Virginia to receive them.

If you filed a return and already received your refund, or receive one before sending Virginia the requested information, Virginia was able to verify your returns through other means.  They no longer need documentation from you, and you may disregard the letter.

Getting a letter from the state about your tax return can be stressful, but we are here to help.  If you received a Review of Tax Return Letter, please contact Hampton Roads Accounting today for assistance or to answer any questions you may have.

Hampton Roads Accounting is happy to help you, whether we prepared your return or not.

 

Just go to our ‘Contact Us’ page to get started.  We will be in touch right away.

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Do you know who you are hiring?

Did you know?

  • 45% of all resumes contain one fabrication, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.
  • 6% of annual revenue is lost due to employee fraud.
  • 17% of all crimes occur in the workplace.

Hampton Roads Accounting is excited to announce…

that we now offer simple and affordable background services through our partnership with National Crime Search (NCS).  Through our website, we can now provide you complete employment screening solutions.  Our partnership provides you with secure and affordable access to a web-based multi-state criminal and sex offender directory that includes over 507 million criminal records.

To learn more about this fast, affordable service, just visit:

http://hamptonroadsaccounting.com/background-checks/

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Seven Steps for Making Identity Protection Part of Your Routine

Seven Steps for Making Identity Protection Part of Your Routine

The theft of your identity, especially personal information such as your name, Social Security number, address and children’s names, wholesale jerseys can be traumatic and frustrating. In this online era, it’s important to always be on guard.

The IRS has teamed up with state revenue departments and the tax industry to make sure Таро you understand the dangers to your personal and financial data. Taxes. Security. Together. Working in partnership with you, we can make a difference.

Here are seven steps you can make part of your routine to protect your tax and financial information:

  1. Read your credit card and banking statements carefully and often – watch for even the smallest charge that appears suspicious. (Neither your credit card nor bank – or the IRS – will send you emails asking for sensitive personal and financial information such as asking you to update your account.)
  2. Review and respond to all notices and correspondence from Visits the Internal Revenue Service. Warning signs of tax-related identity theft can include IRS notices about tax returns you did not file, income you did not receive or employers you’ve never heard of or where you’ve never worked.
  3. Review each of your three credit reports at least once a year. Visit annualcreditreport.com to get your free reports.
  4. Review your annual Social Security income statement for excessive income reported. You can sign up for an electronic account at www.SSA.gov.
  5. Read your health insurance statements; look for claims you never filed or care you never received.
  6. Shred any documents with personal and financial information. Never toss documents with your personally identifiable information, especially your social security number, in the trash.
  7. If you receive any routine federal deposit such as Social Security Administrator or Department of Veterans Affairs benefits, you probably receive those deposits electronically. You can use the same direct deposit process for your federal and state tax refund. IRS direct deposit is safe and secure and places your tax refund directly into the financial account of your choice.

These tips were originally found at https://www.irs.gov/uac/Seven-Steps-for-Making-Identity-Protection-Part-of-Your-Routine

 

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